Leonard Williams and Gerald Bowman will be available for USC’s upcoming game against Washington State Saturday, Steve Sarkisian said in his final game week presser Thursday. Antwaun Woods is hopeful to be back, while Soma Vainuku and Ajene Harris remain out, the head coach added.
Williams has been battling through a shoulder injury and has missed practice time this week, but the All-American lineman will take the field for the Trojans again this week despite the issue.
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Bowman missed the game against Utah with a foot injury, but returned to practice and Sarkisian told reporters he would be ready to go. In Bowman’s place, true freshman John Plattenburg got the start at safety. While he will not start this week, Plattenburg’s involvement in the defense will likely remain regular.
Woods, the nose tackle, missed practice this week with an ear infection, making his status more up in the air. Sarkisian told reporters that he would continue to take medication to get that under control and that he hopes to have the redshirt junior available to play but there is a wait and see element.
If Woods is unable to go, Cody Temple will be called upon to step into his place on the line.
There is little question about the status of Vainuku and Harris unfortunately for USC. Both are still limited and while they will make the trip up north, neither is expected to play. Sarkisian said having them travel with the team will allow them to continue their rehab.
While Andre Heidari is technically available following his groin injury, his status also remains uncertain. Sarkisian elected to attempt two fourth-down conversions instead of kick a pair of long-range efforts against Utah. The head coach said he would assess Heidari before game time and determine the range and opportunity the Trojans might use him in based on his feel that day.
You can watch Sarkisian’s Thursday presser in it’s entirety, via USC Athletics, below.